Abby is a beautiful young Labrador Retriever. She escaped from home for a short period of time and didn’t seem to feel good when she returned. After she had vomited a few times, her owner became quite concerned, as she knew that Abby wasn’t too particular about what she ate. Knowing that, our first step after her physical examination was to go to X-ray. Most of the non-food items that dogs eat are not dense enough to show up on an X-ray. Sometimes though, they eat something that’s pretty easy to see. Yes, that brighty-whitey thing is not part of the dog.

It’s not part of the dog, but it’s not a quarter, either. Looked like one, though, didn’t it? It’s a rubber-coated steel ball, probably part of an old plumbing valve. A little exploratory surgery yielded a nice piece of “show and tell” for Abby’s mom. You would be surprised at how hard it was to locate that one-ounce steel ball inside that sixty-five pound dog. It looks so easy to find on the X-ray. We did find it, finally, about twelve inches past her stomach in the small intestine.

So why did she eat it? It’s a dog thing; you would have to be a dog to really understand. Here’s Abby saying good-bye to Sharon. She’s on her way home after a successful surgery. We just hope she will confine her ball-playing to stuff she can’t swallow from now on.